LAFAYETTE—- L’Empereur Napoleon XXXVII, Dr. James C. Bienvenu, and L’Imperatrice Josephine XXXVII, Melissa Morrow Bienvenu, reigned as the Krewe of Bonaparte held its 41st annual “Le Bal Du Couronnement” in the Cajundome Convention Center on Monday. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Bonaparte’s Grammy Awards.”
The American flag was presented by the U.S. Marine Corps, while “The Star-Spangled Banner” was performed by guitarist Christopher Torian.
At the sound of the captain’s whistle, the crest of the krewe was presented and the quest for “joie de vivre” began.
Le Premiere of the Krewe, Robert Edwin Torian, and his wife, Denise Vidrine Torian, were presented to the crowd, along with 36 years of former Napoleons and Josephines.
Marquise De Lafayette, the captain of the ball, Julie Simon-Dronet, appeared as the Grammy Award recipient for Entertainer of the Year — Lady JuJu. Accompanied by the Jazz Extensions Dance Co., she entertained the crowd with her production of “Poker Face.”
From their thrones, the monarchs watched as the show unfolded with Lady JuJu as emcee.
Presented as Bonaparte’s Best of Soul was Royal Maid Kathleen Randol Stokley as Aretha Franklin performing “Respect.” The Grammy for Best of Rock and Roll was awarded to Royal Duke David Paul Comeaux, representing The Beatles for “I Feel Fine.”
Winners announced for Country Music were Best of Country Rock, Gema Bunkley Edmiston as Shania Twain for “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and Best of Country, Royal Duke Mark Lalande as Garth Brooks for “Friends in Low Places.”
Receiving a special award for Best Grammy Winner From Louisiana was Royal Maid Jacqueline Lowrey Hill, who portrayed Louisiana native Britney Spears for “Toxic.” Grammy for Best of Funk went to Royal Duke Dr. David Jon Foreman as Rick James, the Doctor of Funk, performing “Super Freak.”
Best of Pop was awarded to Royal Maid Emily Foreman Babineaux as Katie Perry performing “California Gurls.”
Highlighting the presentations was the Grammy for Best of Rock. Ryan Landry Marine made a cameo appearance as Mick Jagger accepting the award for Maroon Five’s hit “Moves Like Jagger.”
The royal couple presentation was followed by Napoleon crowning himself as sovereign of his empire and emperor of the Krewe of Bonaparte, and Josephine as his queen.
Recognized from the crowd were the president of the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association, William Miles Johnson, and his wife, Christine Voorhies Johnson, and the association’s maids and dukes.
Also introduced were King Gabriel LXXIV, Stuart Gaither Clark IV, who also served as Bonaparte’s Napoleon XXVII in 2003, and his queen, Evangeline LXXIV, Jasmine Marie Abdalla.
The monarchs toasted each other, the court and their guests.
The heralds, Jenna Marie Gauthreaux and Avery Grace Hebert, entertained the crowd portraying Sophia Grace and Rosie as they delivered the invitation to the krewe’s royal rulers for Mardi Gras Day 2013.
The royal couple and their court reveled the crowd for the grand march to their theme song, “Shining Stars.”
Music for the evening was provided by the band Krossfyre. The tableau was choreographed and directed by Rebecca Landry, with the stage and royal costumes designed by Ted Viator and constructed by Viator and Associates Inc.